Joyful Girl * * * ½
Watching Joyful Girl is like leafing through a cinematic photo album of living, breathing snap-shots of a young couple's life. Each page turned brings with it captured moments plump with story and emotional resonance. A popular device (in its very function) utilized to glaze over depth and cast broad simple strokes to expedite a plot, the "movie montage" has never been purposed thus to extract the essence of unadulterated emotional truth from the core a narrative's detailed convolution. By quickly flashing unordered moments of truth over the course of a couple's hurts, joys, and love, director Chloe Domont elicits the contrasting realities pure and intrinsic to their story while bypassing the specificities of its plot. Through juxtaposing distant bullets on their relational timeline, Domont allows the "former" to inform the "latter" in much the same way Ryan Gosling's ukulele ballad for a tap-dancing Michelle Williams at the start of their romance in Blue Valentine is informed and even marred by their heart-wrenching fights from its non-chronologically earlier scenes. Capturing the melancholic beauty of that film and its quietly devastating cousin Like Crazy, Joyful Girl's scrap-book pictures only take 8 minutes to page through, but they linger far longer.
|A still-frame from Joyful Girl.|
|Shane Coffey (of Joyful Girl) in Chloe's previous short Hear Me Fall.|